Following the practices highest scoring Best Companies results, Helen Whitfield, communications leader at Ryder, discusses the importance of defining purpose to feel fully engaged in your work.
At six years old I wanted to be a famous ballerina, at six and a half, a silver service waitress in Betty’s Tearoom in Harrogate and at sixteen I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do or what my purpose was. Having since somehow been lucky enough to work across the world in a diverse range of sectors, I’ve experienced the ups and downs of good, bad (and ugly) employment but in Ryder, I feel I have truly found the great… and whilst my role in communications would suggest I should naturally be preaching this from atop the mountain, the practice’s recent achievement of tenth Best Small Company to Work For in the Sunday Times Top 100 should hopefully give this statement more credence.
The Sunday Times Top 100 Awards Ceremony
One of our shared values at Ryder is that we are passionate about our people, service and architecture. Passion inspires your mind, your emotions and drives you forward - important in a creative, and evolving industry. As an individual if you are passionate about what you are doing, there are no limitations to what you can achieve providing your employer offers the tools and support for lift off.
In any social or professional situation, we all want to feel we have a purpose and a place. To gain engagement across the workplace, you need to define and communicate the direction, clarify the purpose and take everyone along on the journey… or at least give it your very best shot. Everything architecture is the Ryder vision and our goal is simple – to improve the quality of the world around us and in doing so, improve people’s lives.
Ryder use the Best Companies survey as our measurement for engagement and wellbeing, ensuring we attract and retain a team of talented people who provide the best possible service to our clients. It allows a listening mechanism for feedback, and for individuals to be anonymously honest without fear of repercussion. It flags the issues to address and confirms where the strengths lie but no amount of feedback is productive without a leadership team who really care and a culture which puts its people at the forefront. The level of investment.
Ryder provide in developing the skills and wellbeing of all our people is something you probably need to have worked elsewhere first to fully appreciate.
But no business culture is without small bumps in the road. Following a team restructure and a period of growth and international expansion, the 2016 Best Companies results took a dip. Whilst we retained our three star status, we dropped out of the prestigious top 100 placement - for a business that strives for excellence, this was a disappointment. The whole practice engaged, through focussed sub groups to deliver better HR processes, wellbeing levels and personal development opportunities to the refreshing of our vision statement - Everything architecture.
The 2017 Best Companies results are our highest to date and something for all our people to be exceptionally proud of but excellence is not an act, it’s a habit – so building on our heritage, through inspirational leadership, we continue on our journey as a practice and a team.